Maurice Bendig - 60 Years Jubilee Presentation
Maurice Bendig, a truly inspirational man and Mason who has lived a very full and rewarding life. A Yorkshire lad through and through, having spent his entire life living and working in the city of Bradford.
The name Bendig has German origins and Maurice is the fifth generation of a family which emigrated to work in Little Germany, close to the city centre.
Married to his lovely wife Sheila, they have two children, Martin and Julie, and, as he says, “many grandchildren and great grandchildren” on whom he most certainly dotes.
Educated at Grange Grammar School, Bradford, the thought of which brings back many happy memories, both in the classroom and on the sports field.
At the age of 16 he became an Articled Clerk at accountants J. L. Simpson & Co and after qualifying as a Chartered Accountant, he became a partner in the firm which subsequently became Simpson Bendig & Co and which trades to this day.
Being a partner in a very busy professional company was not enough for Maurice.
For many years he acted as Clerk to the Governors and Clerk to the Foundation Governors of Bingley Grammar School. He also served on the Leeds and Bradford District Society Committee for several years and also on the Board of Authorised Principals.
He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1976, serving as Chairman of the Bench in 1990 and transferring to the Supplemental list in 2002. Other commitments included several years’ service on the Juvenile (now Youth and Family) Panel.
He is a Past Chairman of Bradford Probation Liaison Committee, Past Chairman of the Finance Committee of West Yorkshire Probation Committee, Past Chairman of Metropolitan Courts Committee for Bradford & Keighley.
Maurice served as a member of the Lord Chancellor’s Advisory Panel for Bradford from 1986, being Chairman from 1989 to 1998. As a result, he was invited to and attended a Royal Garden Party at Buckingham Palace.
He is also a Past Treasurer and Trustee of Bradford Drugs watch Committee and currently and for the last 60 years, Treasurer, Trustee and Organist of Muff Field Wesleyan Reform Church.
Subsequently, Maurice decided to broaden his horizons and hence his journey into Freemasonry began back in 1960 when he was Initiated into King Edward VII Lodge No 3442 on 30th May 1960, becoming Master on 1st October 1978.
His first Appointment to Provincial Rank was PPDGSwdB in 1988. This was followed by Promotion to PPJGW in 1996.
Grand Rank followed as PAGDC in 1992; Promoted to PJGD in 2001 and PSGD in 2002.
He served as AsstPGM from 2002 to 2007, with particular responsibility for Area 2. The close relationship with Area 2 continues to this day as Maurice and Sheila attend many festive occasions and are always made very welcome.
He is a Member of Prince of Wales Lodge No 1648 and an Honorary Member of Aequitas Lodge No 9832.
Exalted into Sincerity Chapter No 600 in 1990, he became First Principal in 1995. He was subsequently Appointed PPGSN in 2001. Grand Rank followed as PGStB in 2006.
Maurice was Inducted into the Order of the Secret Monitor in Bishop Blaize Conclave No 48 on 6th June 1962 and Installed into the Chair in 1969. He is a subscribing member of four Conclaves and an Honorary Member of 12 others.
In Grand Conclave he was Appointed as AsstGDC in 1974 and Promoted to Past Grand Visitor in 1981.
1982 was a memorable year in the Order, as Maurice was Installed as Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for the Province of Yorkshire, a position he held until 1995.
The Province was partitioned in that year, with two new Provinces being formed. As a result, he was Installed as Provincial Grand Supreme Ruler for the new Province of West Yorkshire, a position he held until his retirement in 1998. The Provincial meeting of 1997 will be long remembered by all who attended, as on that day R Wy Bro Maurice Bendig announced he would retire with effect from the next Annual Meeting. The look on everyone’s face was testimony to the love and affection in which Maurice was held and there was not a dry eye on hearing that announcement.
The very high Rank of Grand Chancellor followed in 2008.
Other Masonic involvement includes membership of the Calder Vale Consistory No 19 T.I. in the Order of the Scarlet Cord. Appointed Past Grand Registrar and subsequently Past Grand Vice Chancellor.
He is a member of the Mark degree, joining Prince Edward Lodge No 14 and in which he was Master in 2010. Holds the Provincial Rank of PPGJO.
Maurice is a well-travelled Freemason, having visited Lodges in New Zealand on numerous occasions while on his many trips to the antipodes each January over many years.
Attended the Grand Lodge in Connecticut in 2004 where he was invited to Address the Brethren, having been introduced as the Assistant Grand Master from England. What a thrill that must have been. He also visited many other Lodges and exciting locations whilst in Connecticut.
Another “far-flung” destination was the Isle of Man, when he attended their Provincial Grand Lodge representing our own Provincial Grand Master.
2010 was a very special year because the June meeting in 2010 of King Edward VII Lodge was honoured by the presence of Provincial Grand Master RW Bro. John K. Clayton, accompanied by his Assistant Provincial Grand Masters and many other dignitaries. The business was to witness RW Bro Clayton present W. Bro. Bendig with a certificate to commemorate fifty years service to the Craft. The Lodge room at Spring Bank Place was full to capacity and everyone listened intently to every word. At the festive board Maurice was presented with an engraved cut-glass fruit bowl on behalf of the Brethren of the Lodge. A truly memorable occasion.
Maurice was due to receive his 60-year Jubilee Certificate at a meeting of King Edward VII Lodge on 10th June at Hoyle Court, presented by VW Bro Stewart Carley, a personal friend of many years.
Unfortunately, due to the prevailing restrictions Maurice has been presented with his certificate at his home in Bradford by VW Bro Stewart Carley, together with a letter of congratulation from the RW Provincial Grand Master, David S. Pratt.
Be assured, when normality returns there will be a formal presentation at King Edward VII Lodge when the virtues and exploits of W Bro Maurice Bendig will be further revealed.
VW Bro. Stewart G Carley
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